Coniferous forests without end meet the treeless tundra in the north of the continent. The trees here are among the tallest and oldest in the world. The habitats of about two thirds if the 140,000 species of plants, animals and micro-organisms found in Canada are tied to this ancient forest.
Old growth coastal forest.
But timber companies clearcut whole areas of land to obtain pulp
tomake paper. As a result, soils erode and rivers silt up. The
plunder inthe US forests has gone even further with 94 percent of
originalforests lost forever.
Two thirds of the regions forests and woodlands are in large
tractsof potentially intact ancient forests, that areas 20,000
hectares orlarger. The majority of these are located in the
northern most regionsof the continent in Canada and Alaska. They
consist of a mix of forestsand tundra. Forests of the lower 48
states in the US are relativelyfragmented with only 20 percent of
forest cover remaining in large,potentially intact blocks. Most of
them are located in the RockyMountains and the coastal range of the
copyright 2002 Greenpeace/Global Forest Watch
Potentially intact ancient
forest, >50,000 heactares
Sources: Current forest
cover,University of Maryland Transportation grid, Canada: DMTI, US:
USGeological Service, Alaska: Chartr of the World
Potentially intact ancient forest, Global Forest Watch